Day 748: Dirt Track Racer

Posted: 2012/11/26 in Indie Games

There is one thing that I really loved in Hydro Thunder Hurricane (present in all the versions as far as I know; Windows Phone, Xbox Live Arcade, and Windows 8): drafting. Riding the slipstream adds an element to the game that elevates it above a lot of other racers. Now it’s not just about perfect racelines and shifting at the perfect time (which, lets be honest, the computer players ought to be able to do perfectly every time, and only fail at to make the game feel competitive to the human-controlled racers). Drafting, on the other hand, adds a chaotic, yet fluidly tactical, element to racing games. It’s the answer to how you add a strategic element to an arcade racer, without turning it into a wannabe-Forza or Gran Turismo.

“Dirt Track Racer” plays out a bit like Daytona with its massive 40-car, and up to 40 lap, races, but with drafting (which, to my knowledge, Daytona never had) and (another nod to sim racers, perhaps) the ability to do minor car customisations (colour, hood decals, etc.).

The game comes to us from Maximinus, who’s (unbeknownst to me) actually published a tonne of games that I’ve reviewed in the past, such as “Red Tie Miner”, “Missile Escape”, “Cosmic Caverns”, “8 Ball Pool Champion”, and “8 Ball Champion LIVE”. You’ll never mistake this for the polish of a “Project Gotham Racing” or a “Forza” but, for 80 Microsoft Points, who says you have to?

Here’s what the developer (Maximinus) has to say about the game:

“If there’s not DIRT in your beer, you ain’t at a real race! Welcome to DIRT TRACK RACER, an incredible racing game where you fight it out on track against 40 opponents. Brought to you by Maximinus.”

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